“Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” – From the dissenting opinion of Justice John Marshall Harlan in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896
“When I was in politics, there would be times when I tried to figure somebody out, and I could always turn to Plutarch (The Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans), and nine times out of ten I’d be able to find a parallel in there…The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” – President Harry S. Truman (D-MO, 1945-1953)
“On Stalin’s orders any Russian soldier missing in action was presumed guilty of going over to the enemy. It didn’t matter whether he was last seen bleeding to death or charging a German tank, he was guilty of treason and his family was punished for associating with a traitor. Widows lost their rations, their jobs, and sometimes their children. The family lived under a cloud for generations.” – Martin Cruz Smith, Stalin’s Ghost
“‘He’s not a war hero,’ Trump said dismissively of McCain, who spent more than five years being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and suffered permanent injuries as a result…‘He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.’” – New York Daily News, 7/19/2015
“A history of the Holocaust must be contemporary, permitting us to experience what remains from the epoch of Hitler in our minds and in our lives. Hitler’s worldview did not bring about the Holocaust by itself, but its hidden coherence generated new sorts of destructive politics, and new knowledge of the human capacity for mass murder. The precise combination of ideology and circumstance of the year 1941 will not appear again, but something like it might. Part of the effort to understand the past is thus the effort needed to understand ourselves. The Holocaust is not only history, but warning.” – Timothy Snyder, Black Earth, 2015
“Truth is a power. But one can see that only in rare instances, because it is suffering and must be defeated as long as it is truth. When it has become victorious others will join it. Why? Because it is truth? No, if it had been for that reason they would have joined it also when it was suffering. Therefore they do not join it because it has power. They join it after it has become a power because others had joined it.” – Søren Kierkegaard
“All good ethnic politics is local/ Except when it’s made racial/ Then it morphs to lethal.” – Chicago Dog
A few years ago, a North Dakota Republican told a Democratic/NPL friend of mine that the American flag was a “Republican” flag. He suggested Democrats “be shot,”—on the pious assumption that only Republicans were true Americans. This lethal lunacy presaged tweets by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) that Democrats “were enemies to the people” on January 13, 2021, a week after armed insurrection against democratic rule she encouraged. On January 6, 2021, a chorus of voices, bellowing variations on Greene’s hateful themes, were seen and heard storming the Capitol of the United States. Thanks to them, Senators Hawley (MO), Cruz (TX) and five others and 140 seditious members of the House, Republicans now own three flags, instead of the American one Trump’s rioters used to beat up a Capitol policeman: the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy, the Swastika Flag of Nazi Germany, and the Trump flag.
The Republican Party worked hard to earn this infamy. It was a tough job for Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich to pick up the torch of race hatred that the Democratic Party abandoned in the 1960’s with Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Immigration Rights Acts. But hey! Some greed heads had to do it! No sacrifice is too great; even one’s soul. Money gods will always forgive, if you are a large enough donor to their glory. I knew it was time, already in this New Year, to consult my KGB animal experts on human depravity, to mentally survive the last dangerous and disgusting days of the Trump Presidency.
High Plains Reader: What made Trump think he could get away with an ancient Roman or modern European style coup d’etat against the U.S. Congress? A few strategically placed racist, paranoid, and homicidal jerks in the Senate, House, and Capitol Police Forces, Congressional sympathizers, and mindless minions left in his otherwise dysfunctional Executive branch?
Putin: Ancient Roman gangs didn’t need social media to gin up their hate quotient. They killed with knives, not fire extinguishers. Lenin’s “Moral Majority” Bolsheviks, Mussolini’s Black Shirts, and Hitler’s Brown Shirts did fine with fists and bullets. Heinrich Himmler’s SS and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had radio and moving pictures, the first electronic social media gifts to organized hatred, efficiently added to printed fascist filth like “The Stormer.”
Rasputin: Once he became Chancellor, Hitler waited only a few days in 1933 before he made his moves, not four years. These Trump bozos looked more like Hitler’s Munich Beer Hall Putschists of ten years earlier, carrying out fantasies of power, not the real thing; as administered by virtuosos like former Vice President Dick Cheney, architect of U.S. efforts to make Iraq safe for “democratic” Oil companies in 2003, or former National Security Director and Secretary of State for President’s Nixon and Ford, Henry (“power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”) Kissinger.
Schickelgruber: Hitler’s violent gambit of 1923 featured drunken louts, but also well trained, jaded veterans of war (Freikorps), a past reflection of white supremacy neo-Nazis who stormed the Congress in 2021. But today’s insider co-conspiracy is best compared to the Kapp Putsch in Weimar Germany (1920), supported by long time anti-democratic economic and political leaders. That “inside job” was only ended by labor strikes of pro-democratic forces in Berlin.
Lena: It was a near thing in 1920, but haters of free and orderly government did better in their next attempts a decade later. They first disrupted the Legislature (Reichstag) with out-of-control Nazi members like Hermann Goering, elected by Nazi voters from “safe districts,” and then persuaded members of the Prussian Army and Aristocracy to hamstring local police forces and let Hitler through “back doors” of the Weimar Constitution and corridors of Government power.
Chicago Dog: Despite horrors of January 6th, and the need to criminally charge law breakers, these really stupid people remind me of NFL fantasy football fans who might think they can really play the game, but couldn’t block a marshmallow. Like the idiot who ran on the field of an NFL game, and got wiped out by a Chicago Bears linebacker, before being carted off to jail.
Mr. Swamp Fox: NFL fantasy football pools actually, are mostly comprised of fans who know they can’t play the real game of professional football, but admire those who can. Unlike soon to be ex-President Donald Trump, fantasy football fans know the difference between fantasy and reality; that while they are thrilled to pick multiple-Super Bowl winning Quarterback Tom Brady for their team; they know they are not Tom Brady. Trump thinks he’s the “Tom Brady” of politics and government because he lives in a fantasy world. Brady’s former coach, Bill Belicheck, just popped that bubble by telling Trump where he could put the Medal of Freedom Award, now that it was tarnished by the likes of fantasy Propaganda Minister Rush Limbaugh.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: The real “Tom Brady” of politics and government, of course, is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); passing legislation despite obstruction by Moscow Mitch’s Republicans and her depleted “Offensive Line” in the Senate; soon to be launched into “Playoff” contention by recent acquisitions from Georgia. And, she just scored a record second Impeachment on Trump. As they say in football: “taking it to the house!”
Lena: But which rioter got their hands on Speaker Pelosi’s computer? A fantasy fascist? Or was it someone who knew what they wanted? Someone who might want to sell it to the highest bidder in Russia or China, or any one of a number of America’s enemies, foreign and domestic?
Prudence Possum: That answer is hidden in the swamp, but Trump is running out of allies and alibis due to the failure of his January 6th coup. More importantly, Trump’s allies and voters are running out of alibis. He was not so much a “savior,” as he may have flattered himself, as an excuse to cover race and religious prejudice in something more than the American flag and Republican Tea Party rhetoric. Violence in support of bigotry, unfortunately, will continue without him, even though Trump flags, festooned from homes all over places in your North Dakota like overblown Holiday display lighting, have begun to disappear since January 6th.
Señor Perro: As they witness right wing physical assaults on Congress and State Capitols from the outside, and activist assaults upon rule of law from the inside on live media, Americans also are running out of alibis for their past indifference to destruction, in their name, of other peoples’ independent government – for the sake of a materialistic lifestyle and smug assumptions of superiority: Iran, 1953 and Guatemala, 1954 (Eisenhower); Santo Domingo, 1965 (Johnson); Chile, 1973 (Nixon); Grenada, 1983 (Reagan).
Omar Khayyam: In addition to disillusioned diplomats and conspiring corporations, the dirty work of Empire requires trained troops, who sometimes turn into soldiers of fortune, like Mike Flynn, rather than soldiers loyal to constitutional government.
Kim Dog Un: The contrast between President Obama’s and Trump’s pardons says it all. Obama pardoned minor drug abusers from the many voiceless Americans, acted upon by abusers of power. Trump pardoned fellow abusers of power, bad actors, convicted murderers who deserved to be punished, yet were excused because Trump considered them to be part of his gangster elite, as great a tribute to Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler as one could imagine.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Trump’s fantasies as realities provide entertainment for the likes of Vladimir Putin, and other enemies of the American democratic experiment, but they have proved to be prohibitively costly in lives and treasure at home, just as George W. Bush’s 2nd Iraq War proved unconscionably destructive abroad. A link between those two disasters is Trump’s pardon of Blackwater murderers – using the Pardon power as a magic wand to turn horror into fantasies for his rabid followers, and American ideals into garbage.
Mr. Swamp Fox: A reckoning is already being assembled, with the late Senator John McCain’s beloved “regular order” about to take over on January 20th under the auspices of his Democratic colleague, Senator, now President-Elect Joe Biden. The staying power of Trump’s Hitlerian lie of a stolen election will be subjected to examination of crimes committed in its name: on the steps of the Capitol, within its chambers, and around the country.
Chicago Dog: Former Republicans like the Lincoln Project’s Steve Schmidt will not let up until all 7 Senators and 140 Republicans who supported treason on January 6th with their votes, some with their actions, are held accountable, one way or another. This will be a challenging task, given that the 71 Republicans who voted to sustain the Electoral College, are now subject to death threats from MAGA morons that are all too familiar to Democrats. Bipartisanship indeed!
Madame Inspector Chen: Nevertheless, reality is about to bite – hard. At 12:01pm, January 20, 2021, if not sooner, Trump’s fantasy freedom fighters officially become indictable persons of interest, the hunters becoming the hunted. Trump is likely too feckless to pardon all of them.
Agatha Alligator: One media commentator described the plethora of white supremacy, boiling over at the Capitol on January 6th as a “blast from the past,” a “Vanilla ISIS” – a manifestation of Jim Crow lynching and brutality against black folks going back to slavery; no different than the raging fanatics of fundamentalist Islam in Iraq and Syria.
Prudence Possum: And a wag from the swamp produced a poem about it:
The Melting of Vanilla ISIS………………………………..………………………………….Headless Horseman
Vanilla ISIS works for Donald Trump.
It feeds upon the lies he tells with ease
To con his faithful suckers for the fees
They pay through blood and treasure on the stump.
The Donald hates democracy for sure.
It helps Diverse and Able to succeed
Against his priv’ledged, racist cant and creed;
And makes truth hurt more than he can endure.
The crimes of Forty-Five will soon reveal
A long conspiracy of hate to us;
Designed for slav’ry; not for freedom’s seed.
“Commander Coward” hoped his mob would steal
A crown for him to serve his maddest lust—
Unending power– Not the Peoples’ need.